Featured Poems

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay & Poetry Featured POEMS

2021 Theme
"The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.” -
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Featured Poems

Betrayal Silence
Kundai Chikowero – 12th Grade
Dos Pueblos High School

Darkness linger, dark clouds transfuse
Thunderstorm, raging seas
Burning fires, tremors and twisters
Lightning zapping, Whirlwind overwhelms

Pandemic, Death
Brutality, Murder
Poverty, hopelessness
Injustice everywhere, they cry for justice!

Out in the streets
Mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters
Children and adults
Traumatized, grieving, sadness
No justice, No peace!
Black Lives Matter!
This skin, Matters!

Where is empathy?
Where is sympathy?
Where is equality?
Where is justice?
Where is leadership?
Where is the voice of reason?

I hear his voice
In my brain, it reverberates
That strong voice yearning for equality
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal”
That voice, Martin luther King’s reassuring voice!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
When injustice is everywhere
How can one stay silent and give up?
When democracy is on the line

Sarah Dent – 10th Grade
Dos Pueblos High School

This story of this movement is not the story I live
So it is not my story to tell
But like my grandma, who marched in the ’60s
I will march now
So that the tellers, the live-ers, of this movement
Can stand a tiny bit taller
With a crowd another person stronger
Standing at their back

Maybe I can be one more pair of hands
Holding up the people beside me

‘Cause the more of us that join hands,
The harder it is to knock us down

Maybe I can be one more voice
In the rallying cry for justice and equality
‘Cause the more of us that raise our voices
The harder it is to drown us out

And I hope that Dr. King would be proud to see us
All these years later
Still holding hands and joining voices,
‘Cause united, We will not -we can not -be defeated

Journey to Freedom
Elena Beckman – Age 10
Knox School of Santa Barbara

Unseen by their masters, the slaves started their journey to freedom.
Not underground, or on a railroad, or at all safe.
Death was one of the risks on their journey.
Exiting the world of slavery and
Running to the world of freedom.
Giving up would mean death.
Risking everything to be free.
Onward through the dangers of the South
Undeterred by the risks of the journey and
Not giving up on it,
Determined by the hope for freedom.

Risking their lives just to help slaves, not all the same outside, but
All the same
Loving freedom more than they loved the safety of their life,
Running the Underground Railroad.
Only a few people would take that many risks.
A hundred thousand slaves escaped this way,
Done with their journey to freedom.

When Happiness Goes Down
Sam Kasting – Age 7
Roosevelt School

When happiness goes down
and all people are sad and
somebody speaks up and
changes the state,
Now the feet are running
We are happy.


This is Us

Zoe Rogers – Age 7
Peabody Charter School

When happiness goes down
and all people are sad and
somebody speaks up and
changes the state,
Now the feet are running
We are happy.